How to Make Paneer : Learn to Prepare Cottage Cheese at Home!

We all love eating paneer! It the most common ingredient in the Indian food dishes, especially the Punjabi gravies. This recipe will teach you how to make paneer at home on the stove. We all have been eating paneer since ages, but do we prefer making it? We think making paneer is a tough and time-taking process. Break that notion with this easy and simple paneer recipe.


  • Author:
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Category: Ingredient

Description: This recipe will teach you how to make paneer at home on stove. Learn to prepare Paneer with fresh milk and lime juice. Enjoy homemade & hygienic paneer.

How to make paneer - cottoge cheese at home

Ingredients to Make Paneer:

  • Milk – 1 litre
  • Lemon Juice – 2 tsp.

Note: You will need a thin cotton cloth. You can use muslin or cheese cloth as well.  You would require something to be used as a heavyweight.

If you don’t have the lemon, you can use 2 tsp. vinegar or 3 tbsp. curd. Use full-fat milk. Try not to use water added milk.

How to Make Paneer:

  • Take a saucepan and place it on the stove.
  • Turn on the flame and add milk in it.
  • Now, let the milk boil. While the milk is boiling, stir occasionally. Do not let the skin form on the surface of the milk.
  • As the milk begins to boil (or starts to rise), add 2 tsp. lemon or 2 tsp. vinegar or 3 tbsp. curd.
  • In a while, you will observer milk lumps in the saucepan.
  • The milk should start to curdle by now. If it has not has not curdled then add 1 tsp. more lemon.
  • When the milk is curdling, you must keep stirring the milk. (Do not let the curdled milk stick to the bottom of the pan.)
  • As the milk completely curdles, turn off the flame.
  • Take a strainer.
  • Strain the water and keep the milk remains.
  • Now, keep it in the centre of a thin cloth.
  • Cover the cheesecloth and keep it in a plate.
  • Now, use a heavy weight and place it over the wrapped cheesecloth.
  • Wait for 1 hour until all the water is completely removed.
  • After 1 hour, you will observe the paneer is properly set.
  • Cut the paneer into cubes and use it.
  • Store the paneer in the refrigerator.

And the homemade paneer is ready! Use it when required.

Note: While you strain the milk, drain the whey. You can cut the paneer into small cubes or any other shape. As soon as the milk begins to curdle switch off the flame.

Additional Information:

  • Calories: 662 calories
  • Total Time: PT35M
  • Serves: 250 Grams
  • Date Published:

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I would hardly suggest anyone for buying paneer from the store. The outside paneer has the high chances of containing additives which are harmful to our health. Also, there is a minor possibility of having citric acid in the store bought paneer which is not nice for health. Whereas in the homemade paneer, we can ensure the hygiene as well the quality.

If everyone at your home is a big paneer fan, then you must prefer to prepare paneer only at home. The homemade paneer can be made using fresh and thick curd. You can also use lemon juice or vinegar to curdle the milk. Try to make paneer at home and get better taste than the store bought. It is also economical to make cottage cheese in bulk at home.

Check this recipe and learn to make paneer at home in less than 30 minutes. Gather the required ingredients, quickly start with the steps and in no time you will have the block of paneer. Replicate the fantastic store bought paneer, which is soft and porous. You can buy the paneer from the market but only when you need it urgently. Even at these rare occasions of using ready-made paneer, check the freshness of the paneer before buying it.

Suggestion on Making Soft Paneer:

  • To make the soft paneer, you must use good quality milk. The preferable to use is the full cream milk which will give excellent soft paneer. To make cottage cheese (paneer) at home, cow’s fresh milk is recommended.
  • Three core ingredients that help to thicken milk are lemon juice, curd or vinegar. You can use any, but each of them will contribute to their unique flavours and taste in the making of paneer. Add curd if you do not like citric flavours of lemon or if you want to avoid vinegar.
  • The addition of the curd makes the paneer softer. Use as little as ½ tsp. of curd.
  • The paneer becomes softer with the natural cream from the milk. So keep the floating cream.
  • To prepare a soft paneer, you must allow milk to curdle properly. Add more lime juice or vinegar to curdle milk. Stop to boil when you see the whey forming.
  • Paneer will not become soft if you over boil the milk. When milk is completely curdled, immediately remove the separated whey.

Suggestion on Keeping the Paneer Soft:

If the paneer becomes hard, it won’t taste nice. So after making the soft paneer, it is very important to keep the paneer soft.

  • If you are planning to store the paneer in the fridge, then soak the paneer block in water. Now, place this bowl of water with paneer in the fridge. This way your paneer will remain soft.
  • If you directly keep the paneer in the fridge, then submerge the block in warm water after you remove. This will prevent the paneer from becoming hard.
  • Whenever you are making any dish of the paneer, always mix the paneer cubes in the last. Do not cook paneer for more than a minute, or else it would become rubbery and hard.
  • While frying the paneer, take care not to over fry the paneer cubes. Add paneer when oil is moderately heated else the cubes of paneer will burn. Fry till they become light brown from both the sides.


  • Do not use thick cloth or the water will not come out.
  • Use the paneer before 5 days.
  • I recommend you to make paneer on the same day when you need it.
  • If you are storing the paneer, then place in the air tight container.
  • Before keeping in the fridge, you may soak the paneer block in warm water.
  • To make the paneer softer, you can also immerse it in hot water for 15mins.
  • Once paneer is cooked and become hard, it is not possible to make it soft.
  • The quality and the texture of paneer depends on the type of milk used.
  • If you have not added the lime juice in correct proportion, then your milk may not curdle.
  • Avoiding adding lime juice/vinegar in more than required amount.
Quick Tip:
  • You can also make paneer in the microwave.
  • If you have lactose intolerance, you can try to make paneer with lactose-free milk.
  • Try and experiment with the special types of paneer like masala paneer and herbed paneer.
  • If you think the lime juice is not sufficiently added, then immediately add little more lemon juice.
  • Adding too much of lemon juice will make your paneer harder.
  • Paneer can also become hard if your overcook it.

For all those folks who are unaware of paneer, it is a type of Indian cheese. This delicious Paneer is also known as Indian cottage Cheese. It is prepared at home boiling and curdling milk. The milk is thickened by adding a food acid.  The whey of the milk is drained and milk shreds are collected in with the cheese cloth or muslin cloth.  Then you keep the heavyweight and press it to get cottage cheese cubes. After pressing, the collected piece you get is the paneer.

It is very easy to make soft cottage cheese at home. For the novice in the cooking, if you are struggling to make soft paneer, then I would suggest using fresh whole milk or full-fat milk. This unsalted cottage cheese is completely Lacto vegetarian product and packed with proteins.

This paneer block is chopped into small paneer cubes which can be used for making a variety of dishes like:

Microwave Oven Method to Make Homemade Paneer:

Most of us know how to make paneer on the stove as we rarely try to make it in the microwave oven. This technique of preparing cottage cheese in the microwave useful if you use the microwave oven for your regular cooking. The microwave method for homemade paneer is helpful when you are in hurry. It is much quicker than the traditional way of making cottage cheese at home.

Both the method of making paneer give the soft paneer but you can get softer paneer with the microwave method. The paneer made in the pan can be soft but the paneer prepared in the microwave is easily softer with fewer efforts. You can prefer to make paneer with any method you like. Yet it is safe to make paneer on the stove from the health point of view. The paneer prepared in the microwave is not too good for food and thus not much healthy. Yet you can choose this method when in need.

If you have instantly thought of making the dish which required paneer and you do not have homemade paneer, then microwave heating is the quickest method. The paneer would be prepared in just 15 to 20 minutes. To make the 200 grams of paneer block in the microwave, you would need 3 cups of milk with the 1 tbsp. of lime juice.

Steps to make paneer:

  • In the microwave safe bowl, add the 2 cups of fresh milk.
  • Keep the milk to boil for 2 minutes on the full power of microwave.
  • Then mix the 1 tbsp. of lime juice in this boiled milk. Stir it in the milk.
  • Again keep this bowl to heat for 2 minutes. Wait till the milk begins to curdle.
  • As the milk curdles, take the bowl out from the microwave. (Milk would continue to curdle even after you remove from microwave.)
  • With the help of a strainer, strain the curdled milk.
  • Separate the whey and keep the curdled milk. This is the paneer block.
  • Bring together the threads of paneer. (apply the pressure and strain the whey)
  • Once all the water is strained, let it cool for a while.
  • The paneer is now settled and is ready for the use.

What can be done with collected whey?

The whey you collect from the paneer can be drained or re-used. It can be used instead of water at certain place. Mentioned below are the few idea where you can use the collected whey.

  • Add to the making of Roti or the Paratha dough.
  • Use it to prepare the bread dough or for any other baking food item.
  • It can be mixed with the dal, rice based dishes, soups or veggies (sabzi).
  • You can keep it to cool and later water the plants with it.

How to prevent paneer cubes from breaking in gravy?

It may at time happen that though you have made perfectly soft paneer, but still, deit breaks when you mix with other gravies. To prevent the paneer from breaking, follow these tips:

  • Add paneer when the gravy is cooked. Mix the paneer, stir the gravy and switch off the flame.
  • Add the corn flour with the paneer in the suggested proportion. (Do not add more flour as paneer will become hard.)